Kiruvel Girmachew, a Denver fifth grader at Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside Elementary Charter School, would spend his entire school day reading if he could.

“When I read, it kind of feels like I am watching a movie in my mind and I just slip out of reality,” Girmachew explained. “I’m like that kinda guy when everyone’s playing I’m just sitting reading – even if I don’t have a book I’ll just go on my tablet.”

But he says his passion to read actually started rather reluctantly. “In the summer, my mom forced me to read because she didn’t want me on electronics.”

Once he found his favorite book, there was no stopping the super reader. 

We’re so inspired to celebrate National Literacy Month with Kiruvel and Rocky Mountain Prep!

Watch the interview on CBS News Colorado.

The commentary below was written for Boardhawk by two DPS students, Sydelle Buyungo and Houlaye Sy, who were part of the vision team in the Denver Education Vision Project. The Denver Education Vision Project was created based on the belief that there is work to be done to provide an equitable education for every young person in Denver. 

RootED Denver and the Open Systems Institute partnered with community members to create a vision for the future of education that would lead to more equitable outcomes through Denver’s public schools’ system. A design team of families, students and community members worked to map their experiences, name bright spots and pain points and set a shared vision for the future of education in Denver.

Read the full commentary here.

Achieving Excellence Academy had another great summer program in 2023, serving as a cultural immersion opportunity for students who have been historically underserved, with an emphasis on students of color.

“With ongoing community support, family involvement, and the dedication of educators, this program continues to provide a transformative educational experience, nurturing students’ sense of belonging, coalition building, and leadership skills,” Ashlea Skiles, the program director for the Achieving Excellence Academy, wrote for Boardhawk.

Watch the video below and read Ashlea’s story here:

McAuliffe Manual Middle School is the 9NEWS (KUSA) Cool School for April! Watch the news story about the school’s multi-intensive peer-to-peer program and how it helps students build lasting friendships. The peer-to-peer program serves about 230 students. The goal is to ease students’ fears about going to a new school.

“It’s nice because I know I’ll always have a friend who’s super kind to me and awesome,” sixth grader Josefiina Highland said about her classmate Jane Numbi.

Colorado Public Radio’s Jenny Brundin visited with the speech and debate team at STRIVE Prep – RISE ahead of the state speech and debate championships. Will they make it to nationals?

Listen to the story HERE.

On Denver’s Municipal Election Day, we’re proud to see that students at KIPP Colorado Public Schools‘ Northeast Denver Leadership Academy made their voices heard in this election. Watch the 9NEWS (KUSA) video HERE .

As part of the Beacon Network Schools‘ unique enrichments program, students at Grant Beacon Middle School took a trip to Centennial Airport to learn more about aircraft and engineering. Watch the FOX31 story HERE

“Over 20 years, and I’m still not done helping kids and helping families.” Ron Allen, Family Therapist and Social Emotional Specialist at Academy 360

Fox31 reporter Joshua Short visited Academy 360 in Montbello to learn more about the charter school’s approach to nurturing the whole child and providing culturally relevant education and wraparound services to students and families. 

Watch the full story of how Allen and Academy 360 are supporting students and families.

After Governor Jared Polis awarded RiseUp Community School with the Governor’s Bright Spot Award in late 2022, 9NEWS reporters Byron Reed and Courtney Yuen featured the alternative charter high school as the January “Cool School.” Watch the 9News feature here.

A pilot program at DSST schools aims to close literacy gaps through the efforts of reading interventionists who work closely with students.

Watch the full story on CBS, which originally aired on December 19, 2022